The Population Density of Feral Colonies of Honey Bees (Hymenoptera: Apidae) in a City in Upstate New York

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In Oswego, a city in upstate New York, a search for all honey bee, Apis mellifera L., colonies in an area of 4.2 km' (1.6 square miles) revealed 12 colonies. All but one of the colonies were feral, living in tree cavities and the walls of buildings. The observed density was 2.7 colonies per km2 (7.0 feral colonies per square mile). Oswego may be considered typical of the smaller cities in the northeastern United States, with many older wooden houses and streets lined with large trees. The high frequency of feral honey bee colonies in cities, many in inaccessible areas, adds considerably to the difficulty of controlling nuisance bees, as well as noxious bee mites and other honey bee disease agents for which feral colonies constitute reservoirs of infection. Our data make clear that ordinances against beekeeping would not significantly reduce the number of colonies living in an urban area.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 1990

More about this publication?
  • Journal of Economic Entomology is published bimonthly in February, April, June, August, October, and December. The journal publishes articles on the economic significance of insects and is divided into the following sections: apiculture & social insects; arthropods in relation to plant disease; forum; insecticide resistance and resistance management; ecotoxicology; biological and microbial control; ecology and behavior; sampling and biostatistics; household and structural insects; medical entomology; molecular entomology; veterinary entomology; forest entomology; horticultural entomology; field and forage crops, and small grains; stored-product; commodity treatment and quarantine entomology; and plant resistance. In addition to research papers, Journal of Economic Entomology publishes Letters to the Editor, interpretive articles in a Forum section, Short Communications, Rapid Communications, and Book Reviews.
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